Friday, April 21, 2006

A magnolia tree waves gently (and temporarily) outside my study window. Temporarily because it is currently living in a wheelbarrow having been rudely excavated from the middle of the back lawn. We are the second owners of a house built immediately after the second world war (the previous owners lived here for fifty years). We were struggling with the 2m x 2m-with-three -doorways kitchen, however, and felt we should extend. The "new" house is lovely, but the garden was trashed while extending and we are in the process of redoing the entire space. A JCB is currently parked on my back lawn-to-be, the greenhouse is adrift and the magnolia is homeless. Should all settle down shortly - I am imagining summer garden party, strawberries, champagne...

I picked up Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness again this afternoon. In the context of the book Francofinn and I am working on it is important, as so many African writers have felt the need to "respond" to it. I'll let you know more once I've reread it, but based on my recollected impressions I do feel it is not about bashing on Africans, but everything to do with reflecting back onto the protagonist and the audience reading the book. Chinua Achebe was all hot and bothered about it, however, and Ngugi wa Thiongo has had a word or two to say on the subject as well, hence the reread in the context of their criticism.

Quite coincidentally, Conrad is buried in the graveyard near our house. Perhaps I shall have to make a mini pilgrimage?

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2 Comments:

Blogger James Long said...

I look forward to your thoughts on re-reading Heart of Darkness - one of those books that held powerful sway over me when I was studying modernist writing.

12:52 pm  
Blogger equiano said...

Thanks, James. The last time I read it was for a course at university with the wonderful John Stilgoe, titled ADVENTURE, FANTASY AND VISUAL REPRESENTATION OF ALTERNATIVE TOPOGRAPHY. Very interesting that in this context Conrad's HEART OF DARKNESS was viewed as part of the fantasy genre!

1:40 pm  

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